In 2008, my younger brother and I would spend hours playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl after school. There were a few characters that we did not recognize, even though I had seen some of them before in Super Smash Bros. Melee. One character stuck out to me, Pit, an angel from a series I had never heard of. Everyone has their “main” character in the Smash Bros. series or a select few that they like to play as. To that end, my brother can tell you stories about how I would spam certain moves with the angelic hero. This appearance in Nintendo’s collaborative fighter got me interested in the Kid Icarus franchise. So, when I first saw the announcement of Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS, I knew that I had to play it. I eventually got my hands on the 3DS, but the desperate wait for the game itself continued. After waiting patiently for just under a year, I was rewarded.
Kid Icarus: Uprising was released in March 2012 to a mostly positive reception. It was praised for its fun gameplay and well-written dialogue, but the controls were considered clunky at times. Uprising is one of those games that has eluded a lot of people. The game seemingly fails to appear in conversation sometimes, which is disheartening. Nintendo has a habit of occasionally forgetting about some of its key franchises. Metroid, Mother / Earthbound, F-Zero, and Kid Icarus unfortunately get left behind quite frequently. Kid Icarus: Uprising in particular deserves an upgraded Nintendo Switch port. This is a game that flew under many gamers’ radars, and Nintendo should acknowledge one of its lesser-known franchises.
Firstly, a Nintendo Switch port of Kid Icarus: Uprising could revamp the controls, which were one of the game’s biggest weaknesses on Nintendo 3DS. Switch has two easily accessed analogue sticks, which already improves upon Nintendo’s previous handheld devices. Using the stylus to aim both the camera and reticle was simply tedious on 3DS. Offering a more traditional control scheme option on Switch with left stick for movement and right stick for aiming would make the game more instantly accessible.
However, Nintendo has emphasized gyro controls since it first introduced them on 3DS. With the more sophisticated and precise hardware of the Switch Joy-Con and Pro Controller, a returning option for gyroscopic controls would be a fun way to control Pit throughout his adventure too. This would operate like in Splatoon 2, where you can aim the camera by tilting the controller. In flying sections, this would also control Pit’s flight path. Personally, I believe that gyroscopic controls would result in the overall better gameplay experience, but motion controls like these are always off-putting to some. The important thing is that players have multiple options to find the most comfortable experience.
A captivating world held back by its original platform
Another obvious area a Nintendo Switch port of Kid Icarus: Uprising could improve is the visuals. Granted, it was a beautiful game when it first released. Releasing a year after Nintendo 3DS launched, Uprising was able to demonstrate the power of the console. However, with a modern eye, it looks rough around the edges, especially the facial animation for both enemies and the main characters. Pit’s face is extremely low-res.
An HD version of the game would allow the developers to show the beauty of the world in dynamic ways. The general environmental design of the original game is still downright gorgeous. Soaring through the colorful skies never gets old, and the scenery is constantly shifting to exciting locations. A remaster of the visuals on Nintendo Switch would let that terrific underlying design sparkle to its fullest.
Probably the most important reason for Kid Icarus: Uprising to come to Switch is that not many people know about the game. Hardcore Nintendo fans will understand and appreciate the franchise’s rough history. The Nintendo community is very open about its opinions on the big N’s treatment of its lesser-known franchises. Releasing Uprising on Switch would allow a new audience to experience the game for the very first time. It is an adventure worth experiencing with some of the best dialogue that I’ve seen in a video game.
Pit has funny and engaging conversations with the game’s cast during your romp through hordes of enemies. My favorite line from the game is from Chapter 9, where Pit encounters Twinbellows for the second time: “We’re going to rack up some serious Nintendogs trainer points together!” This type of humor is present throughout the entire game. There are a lot of references to other Nintendo franchises and strange discussions that are utterly charming. One moment even sees Pit discussing what life would be like as a goldfish.
Re-releasing Kid Icarus: Uprising would likely open the doors for a sequel too. The ending of Uprising is both ridiculous and engaging, and I would like to see a grand return from Pit and his comrades. The series has the potential to go in a variety of different directions with its plot, since the mythological nature of the series allows the developers to throw new challenges towards Pit and the player.
Ascend to a more powerful console
Even if a Switch port ultimately doesn’t happen, I still believe that you should give Kid Icarus: Uprising a shot on Nintendo 3DS if you haven’t already. To reiterate, the gameplay is great despite control flaws, and the writing is pure comedic genius at times. The Kid Icarus franchise deserves to be loved just the same as the likes of Mario and Zelda.
At the time of its debut, Kid Icarus: Uprising demonstrated Nintendo’s ability to revive a franchise in a bold manner after a 25-year hiatus. Lately, it seems like the Big N is learning to appreciate its backlog of existing classics. Metroid is finally receiving some love with the upcoming Metroid Prime 4, even though it’s taking a while, for instance. Kid Icarus too deserves a new moment in the spotlight. But with Nintendo, there’s always no telling what to expect.